Day 165 (of 188) even after 25 years my father influences my work

Day 165 (of 188) even after 25 years my father influences my work
25 years ago this past weekend my father passed away. Principal of a couple schools in Lillooet where he taught me a couple of important lessons. 
He introduced me to the power of technology. Specifically how the right tech can be an amazing equalizer and differentiator. My messy penmanship (a source of frustration since he had amazing calligraphy skills with either hand) no longer distracted from the message. I learned about averages using software that I copied from magazines. Instead of an essay, I did a slideshow (not keynote or ppt – actual slides!). 
He showed me how much fun education can be (from playing with project based learning and many individualized assignments that he shared with me) as he worked with many learning communities (even being named an honourary chief from one of our local nations. 
He modelled the power of positive relationships – working with all learners – from the ones off to university to the ones he feared wouldn’t come back in September. He knew that where you came from shaped you, but didn’t limit you. 
He enabled me to start some of my own crazy Landy ideas – like trying to start a radio station. But of course he started it by having an early computer lab that rivalled one that was highlighted in Time magazine. But of course this was way before social networking so he took more ‘hits’ than ‘congrats’ for his fascination with the computer fad (and a microwave in a foods room – inconceivable!) and building a united front of forward thinking educators (I really wish I still had one of the University of Lillooet shirts he had printed up). 
He showed me that education can be fun. Even when it hurts. Even when tragedy strikes. Even when things seem hopeless. School starts tomorrow. Ready or not. Someone has to smile and lead the way – a lesson I’ve had to replicate too many times in my short career. 
And we did have fun. Even if I missed an occasional French class to have lunch with him and his secretary (only principal ‘the barracuda’ ever like she readily admitted – and I think he may have been the only one who liked her!) she ruled the elementary school and was more feared than the principal if you were ‘sent to the crossbills’. But also was an amazing cook and really wanted all kids to be successful – not stuck in the office with her but in the classrooms learning. 
He insisted that I learn typing – proud that he was faster than any secretary he worked with – sadly I could only come in 2nd in my typing class to a girl who was over 110 wpm – though I did break the century mark in university. Using the Mac classic he saw as an educational game changer. He woulda loved the iPad mini…
He showed that there are no real limits with education – why if he, a kid living in the shadow of the Patullo Bridge can be a principal there’s no reason why I, a kid from Lillooet couldn’t: play football at UBC (not well, but…); be a principal myself; take chances so that others can be empowered to take risks and not worry about failing (well, maybe worry a little…)
He read theories about grading to me while I was in the womb (so I was inspired to be non traditional from before the start!) he didn’t always follow the rules which enabled me to use a 100′ Ethernet cable to bring the ‘net to my classroom. He cared about kids and learning. I was lucky enough to find some journals recently which inspired me to take part in this (year 2!) 180-days-of-learning blog so my kids won’t have to spend so much time searching. 
He encouraged his Professional Learning Network (and yes he even used a modem to ‘talk’ to a teacher a couple houses down the street) to ‘think different’. 
And we are. And we will. Thank you. 

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About technolandy

Principal of Sorrento Elementary Educator pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Piloting ePortfolios
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